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FRONTLINE: Ambush in Mogadishu DVD
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Item No.: FROL6704
Single DVD

In the most violent firefight since Vietnam, elite U.S. Army Rangers and Delta Force members were pinned down in 1993 on Mogadishu streets by Somali warlord Mohammed Farah Aidid's forces. FRONTLINE investigates a peacekeeping mission gone wrong and a deadly ambush still haunting U.S. military and foreign policy. A day later, eighteen U.S. soldiers were dead, seventy-five wounded, and U.S. response to humanitarian crises had changed forever.
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REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
PBSFRONTLINE: Ambush in Mogadishu DVD
 
3.3

(based on 3 reviews)

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Reviewed by 3 customers

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(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Special Operations

By oldgreyfox

from Miami, FL

Verified Buyer

Comments about PBS FRONTLINE: Ambush in Mogadishu DVD:

As the 'taking out' of Bin Laden shows, the element of surprise is critical to these types of operations. The Task Force Ranger commander put our best and brightest into the wasps nest of fanatic even though common sense should have indicated otherwise. This country fields the best, highly trained soldiers in the world with state-of-the-art weapons and equipment. The polititians, in and out of uniform, sacrifice them needlesly.

(18 of 19 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

DVD Ambush in Mogadishu is Updated Trash

By David Avender

from Vancouver, BC, CANADA

Verified Reviewer

Comments about PBS FRONTLINE: Ambush in Mogadishu DVD:

"Ambush in Mogadishu" - the DVD version - IS NOT the "Ambush in Mogadishu" that originally aired on Frontline in 1998. New material has been inserted that sacrifices much of the old.

Heartbreakingly beautiful conversations have been lost in toto; others, beautiful as I remember them, are cut off midway. The testimony of Red Cross worker, Khalil Dale, a source of testimony outside the military, is 80% lost. Most troubling, but not at all surprising for PBS, is the truncated storyline concerning the Clinton Administration's special envoy - former President, Jimmy Carter - and his government sanctioned supplicative attempts for open dialogue with Mohammed Farah Aidid that occurred CONCURRENT with the planning and execution of what turned out to be one horrific firefight, taking the lives of many American soldiers and many hundreds of Somalis. Carter's negotiating occurred wholly unknown to the military detachment in Somalia, and was removed from this updated DVD save for one single mention.

This hypocrisy, and poor management by the Clinton Administration, was the spine of the original 1998 program. Many of the soldiers felt the act was tantamount to being cheated by their own government. Mr. Joyce, Casey's father, never did receive a reasonable answer as to why his son was sent on such a dangerous and fruitless mission, only to lose his life, while all along President Clinton was aware that Aidid might agree, any day, to talk openly with envoy Carter. Mr. Joyce was able to meet with President Clinton and Anthony Lake, Assistant to President Clinton, and ask why his son was put in such needless peril. The answer Clinton gives is embarrassingly bad, but that answer, not at all surprisingly, has been removed from the DVD version.

The video cassette version of "Ambush in Mogadishu" - assuming PBS has not cleaned that version as well - is 5 stars of 5.

The DVD version of "Ambush in Mogadishu" is a mere 1 stars of 5.

The DVD version of "Ambush in Mogadishu" is a disappointing, disjointed, confused mess to which no viewer may become attached.

Cordially,
David Avender

(2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Finest Documentary I Have Ever Seen

By David Avender

from Vancouver, BC, CANADA

Verified Reviewer

Comments about PBS FRONTLINE: Ambush in Mogadishu DVD:

In the most violent sustained firefight since those found in the jungles of Vietnam, elite U.S. Army Rangers and Delta Force members found themselves pinned down in 1993 on the streets of Mogadishu by the forces of Somali warlord Mohammed Farah Aidid. This was to be a routine mission: Drop in, Snag the target, Deliver. But all went – if ever any mission ever went – very close to hell. In 17 hours, 18 American Soldiers lay dead on the streets of Mogadishu and CNN began to broadcast. Then began an humiliation…

The story of America’s involvement in Somalia began as a mission of mercy. It was a response to a call made by the United Nations; a request for the United States Armed Forces to securely bring in food supplies to the starving people of Somalia; and, to bring security to the other organizations whose principal task was to feed the needy. Tribal war and uncommonly low seasonal precipitation levels had created an humanitarian crisis. Several groups, including those associated with the UN, were threatened at gunpoint by Aidid’s men, and chased away from they trucks. The grain and trucks were then stolen, and sold on the black market to fill Aidid’s pockets with currency.

Aidid was the principal impediment between the generosity of thousands and the starving millions. He was a tribal war leader who carried an AK-47, and a strap of ammunition over his shoulder. He was chauffeured about in a jeep, that was itself flanked by other jeeps; all of which carried soldiers who kept a watchful eye out for their leader.

In my semi-long life of viewing documentaries do that which is their principal purpose, this frightening, soundly intense, first account of the US Army’s attempt to snag Mohammed Farah Aidid, is the finest work of its kind I have ever seen. Now that, “FRONTLINE: Ambush in Mogadishu,” is available to the public on DVD, with mere words, I can not sufficiently emphasize my recommendation for this remarkable work by film maker William Cran and the several men who were there amidst the bullets and blood.

A word about William Cran. "Ambush in Mogadishu" was written, produced and directed by Mr. Cran. Before I began writing this review, I was not aware of his participation in this most fine documentary; but my appreciation for it stands to reason. Before and since, William Cran has created some of the very best television documentaries in the last 20 years, including: Pablo Escobar: The Godfather of Coca... (1995), From Jesus to Christ (1998), The Roman Way of War (1998), The Red Files (1999), Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy (2002), and The Age of AIDS (2006). He has most often partnered with narrator, Will Lyman; also, one of the finest in his line of work.

Told by the men who were there, and brilliantly recreated, "Ambush in Mogadishu" is the finest short documentary I have ever seen.

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